Wage theft

ALTERNATIVE LABELS
Stolen wages
NARROWER TERMS


Report

Robbed at sea: endemic wage theft from seafarers in Australian waters

This research finds that seafarers working on foreign-registered freight ships in Australian waters face regular theft of wages and other entitlements due to legal loopholes and poor enforcement of labour standards.
Report

Systemic, sustained and shameful: unlawful underpayment of employees' remuneration

Wage theft on a broad scale is a relatively new phenomenon and creates significant problems for Australian labour market regulation. An increasing evidence base, and a plethora of media investigations, suggest that non-compliance with Australia's minimum employment laws has become pervasive, as well as 'endemic'...
Guide

Working better

From July 2021, it becomes a crime for an employer in Victoria to dishonestly withhold wages or other employee entitlements. This kit provides a suite of resources in a variety of formats to communicate these new laws.
Report

Wage theft: the shadow market

The exploitation of temporary migrant workers in Australia is a common and known problem that appears to be endemic throughout Australian workplaces. This report focuses on the audit results of foreign language jobs advertised in NSW, excluding the horticultural industry.
Report

Blue harvest

Wage theft remains rampant in Australian horticulture, even during COVID-19. This investigative report explores the nature of underpayment and worker exploitation in northern NSW’s blueberry industry, unearthing allegations and evidence of gross underpayment and abuse inflicted upon working holiday-makers and others.
Report

Food precincts investigations: Melbourne laneways and Brisbane’s West End

Describing a recent investigation of 49 fast food, café and restaurant businesses in Melbourne’s Degraves Street and Hardware Lane and Brisbane’s West End, this report outlines the recovery of $1,212,727 in unpaid wages to potentially vulnerable young workers such as university students.
Briefing paper

Wage Theft Bill 2020: Bill Brief

This Bill Brief provides an overview of the Victorian Wage Theft Bill 2020.
Report

Inquiry into wage theft in Western Australia

This inquiry, undertaken by former Chief Commissioner of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Tony Beech, found that wage theft is occurring through underpayment of wages and entitlements, non-payment of wages or allowances for work performed, unauthorised or unreasonable deductions and non-payment of superannuation.
Report

Ending wage theft: eradicating underpayment in the Australian workplace

This report outlines how state and federal governments can do more to eradicate the underpayment of wages in Australia.
Report

The economic impact of wage theft in South Australia

This report explores the economic impact of wage theft in South Australia. Wage theft is widespread and likely growing, impacting up to 170,000 South Australian workers to varying degrees, and almost certainly costing South Australian workers, collectively, more than $500 million a year.
Report

Report of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce

The Migrant Workers’ Taskforce, chaired by Professor Allan Fels AO, with Dr David Cousins AM as Deputy Chair, was established as part of the federal government’s response to the revelation of significant wage underpayments in certain industry sectors. This report provides a summary of the...
Report

Made in poverty: the true price of fashion

The women who make our clothes are entrenched in a cycle of poverty — because big Australian brands allow poverty wages.
Report

Protecting flexibility in a dynamic economy: a critique of the Victorian government’s regulatory agenda

This paper examines current or proposed changes to the sharing economy, regulations hitting the labour hire industry, proposals to tackle ‘wage theft’, and the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws, in the context of the rapid growth of the Victorian public sector since 2014.
Report

Wage theft? What wage theft?!

This report recommends that the federal gvernment take immediate steps to protect vulnerable workers subject to wage theft and exploitation by companies who continue to operate with impunity.
Report

The impact of wage theft on Queensland’s workers and economy

This report aims to quantify the likely impact of wage theft on Queensland workers and the Queensland economy, in both the form of regular-wage theft and the non-payment of superannuation guarantee contributions.
Report

Wage theft in silence

This report argues that structural reforms are urgently required to address the drivers of exploitation. There is also a pressing need for remedial mechanisms that are accessible to individual migrant workers. Against a culture of impunity, predicated on employers’ assumptions that migrant workers will remain...
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Did the Pope declare wage theft a mortal sin that reaps eternal punishment?

The union movement has enlisted the opinion of an unlikely ally in its campaign to make wage theft a crime. Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus has told her Twitter followers that the Pope declared wage theft a mortal sin, which mea
Report

Superbad - wage theft and non-compliance of the Superannuation Guarantee

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) system—in conjunction with voluntary superannuation contributions and a means-tested, government-funded age pension—forms an integral part of Australia's retirement income policy. As such, the committee is deeply concerned by recent analysis by Industry Super Australia that indicates that employers failed to pay...
Journal article

Indigenous stolen wages and campaigns for reparations in Victoria

During most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Australian governments developed a number of practices that ensured they and their agencies controlled the wages, savings and benefits of Indigenous people. Today, these practices are known as the stolen wages practices. They have substantially impacted upon...